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(1) Tarling, R. and Burrows, J. (2004) 'The nature and outcome of going missing: the challenge of developing effective risk assessment procedures', International Journal of Police Science and Management, Vol.6, No. 1, 16-26
Data relating to missing cases by nationality (UK, non-UK or unknown) and age are given in the tables placed in the House Library. 'Closed' refers to the status of cases where the individual was subsequently found. Data relating to 'age' are given at the date the person went missing. Ages have been grouped together and where there are small numbers of cases (under five) in individual cells exact figures have not been provided to protect identity and maintain confidentiality.
The HERMES database used for the recording of missing persons data is an operational database used for policing purposes. The data are normally only used for management information and are not subject to the detailed checks that apply to national statistics publications. The data are therefore provisional and may be subject to change.
A code of practice for the collection of missing persons data was introduced in April 2009. Although limited data have been collected as some police forces have implemented the code, it is unlikely that any meaningful and complete national picture of missing persons will be available until early summer 2010, when all police forces will become compliant with the code. Meanwhile the available figures can be regarded as indicative only.
Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has made an estimate of the number of incidents of (a) rape and (b) sexual assault attributed to drivers of (i) black cabs, (ii) licensed minicabs and (iii) unlicensed minicabs in the last five years. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The information requested cannot be provided as data on incidents of rape and sexual assault attributed to drivers of black cabs, licensed minicabs unlicensed minicabs are not reported to the Home Office.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been (a) arrested and (b) convicted since the enactment of the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 for offences relating to the taking of photographs. 
Mr. Hanson: Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 inserts a new clause (Section 58A) into the Terrorism Act 2000 which relates to the offence, inter alia, of taking photographs of members of the armed forces, police or security and intelligence services. The Home Office collates statistics on the number of terrorism arrests, charges and convictions. However, the data are recorded in a way which shows offences under S58 but does not show convictions under subsections of S58. These statistics were included in a Bulletin published for the first time on 13 May 2009 (Statistics on Terrorism Arrests and Outcomes Great Britain 11 September 2001 to 31 March 2008). The first edition of the Bulletin is available at:
Civil servants are required to act in accordance with the standards and core values set out in the Civil Service Code. The Civil Service Code also provides for civil servants to raise matters of concern with the independent Civil Service Commissioners if they do not receive what they consider to be a reasonable response following departmental internal procedures. The Commissioners will also consider taking a complaint direct. Further guidance on whistleblowing is set out in the Civil Service Management Code and the Directory of Civil Service Guidance.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of days likely to be taken to (a) deliver general election ballot papers to and (b) return to the relevant returning officer ballot papers completed by members of the armed forces serving in Afghanistan to the relevant polling station. 
Bill Rammell: No specific estimate has been made for the number of days likely to be taken to deliver and return general election ballot papers from members of the armed forces serving in Afghanistan to the relevant polling station.
However, we take very seriously the need to ensure service personnel are able to vote. The MOD is working closely with the Electoral Commission and the Ministry of Justice to help service personnel understand their options for registering to vote and to support their participation in the forthcoming elections. We advise service personnel serving abroad to vote by proxy.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the statement of 15 December 2009, Official Report, columns 801-02, on future defence programmes, what assessment has been made of the effects on the Royal Air Force's elements at readiness strategy of the reduction in Tornado and Harrier squadrons. 
Bill Rammell: An analysis of defence priorities was carried out which concluded it was possible to drawdown the overall size of our Fast Jet Forces earlier than expected. As a result of this analysis, it was decided to make a reduction in the size of the Harrier force by one squadron and therefore close RAF Cottesmore and consolidate the Harrier force at RAF Wittering.
Reducing the size of the Harrier force earlier than planned will not affect current operations, as the Tornado GR4 (the aircraft that replaced Harrier on Op HERRICK earlier this year) is proving to be extremely effective in Afghanistan.
|UK (as at 4 January 2010)||Overseas (as at December 2009)|
Properties are void for various reasons, such as that they are awaiting routine moves of service personnel, improvement or modernisation work, demolition or disposal. While the Department is working hard to reduce the number of voids, there will always be a need for a management margin of properties to ensure they are available for service families.
In 2008, the proportion of void SFA worldwide reached 21 per cent. Although extremely challenging, the MOD is driving hard to reduce the percentage of voids to the target management margin of 10 per cent. by 2012.
Void Single Living Accommodation is defined as those bed-spaces which are available but not currently required for occupation by single service personnel. The most recent figures we have (December 2008) indicate that of the available 145,000 bed-spaces worldwide,
some 18,000 (12 per cent.) were void. Of these some 13,000 (9 per cent.) were in the UK and 5,000 (3 per cent.) overseas.
Mr. Kevan Jones: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 11 October 2007, Official Report, column 695W. The majority of the building of new Service Family Accommodation (SFA) since 1996 has been through Private Finance Initiatives. This has seen 1,391 new houses built by the Private Sector in Great Britain (GB) since 1998. The estimated capital value of these houses was some £212 million. Annual payments are being made to the contractors over the life of the contracts ranging from 20 to 30 years.
In addition, the Department has directly invested in both the new build and major refurbishment of SFA. Due to the changed contractual arrangements and transfer of responsibility between various parts of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), expenditure in GB can be provided only on a consistent basis back to 2001-02.
|Capital expenditure||Maintenance and upgrade|
Mr. Quentin Davies: While it is planned to assess the NIITEK Husky Mine Detection System as part of a wider assessment, I cannot go into the specific details as this would, or would be likely to, prejudice the operational security of our armed forces.
Mr. Quentin Davies:
A range of equipment is in service to counter the threat from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and mines, but no single piece of equipment
can provide complete protection. While it is impossible to protect troops from every eventuality, we do everything possible to tackle the risks posed by IEDs, both in terms of equipment capability, but also the critical areas of tactics and training. I cannot go into the specific details of technical solutions, such as electronic counter-measures, as this would, or would be likely to, prejudice the operational security of our armed forces.
Mr. Kevan Jones: Within Defence, the civil office estate is defined as that which is capable of being shared with other Government Departments. Information in respect of these offices will take some time to collect and verify. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many planned visits by Ministers in his Department within the UK were cancelled within 72 hours of the visit taking place in the last 12 months; and what the planned venue or venues were for each such visit. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: This information is not centrally held and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Ministerial visits are made on the basis that they are provisional and subject to parliamentary and Government business. It is not normal practice of Government to report on cancelled visits.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many properties owned by his Department had been unused for between one and five years in (a) England, (b) Scotland and (c) the UK on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Details of all properties of all types on the Ministry of Defence (MOD) estate that are unused and the length of time each has been so is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Further to my answer of 14 December 2009, Official Report, column 828W, we have been able to assemble some details of void living accommodation. The following table details Service Family Accommodation (SFA) in the UK that has been unused for between one and five years. It has not been possible separately to identify SFA in England. The majority of these properties are owned by Annington Homes Ltd. (AHL) and are leased to the Department.
|Number of SFA properties void between one and five years as at 12 January 2010|
SFA properties that have been void for the longest periods are those that are mainly held awaiting large future redeployments of personnel, pending return to AHL or awaiting demolition, or where decisions on the future of MOD sites have yet to be made. SFA may also be void where there is likely to be a long-term (rather than short-term) need for SFA in that area or where major modernisation or upgrade work is to be carried out.
In those areas where void SFA is required in the long-term but not in the short to medium-term, the Department is actively seeking arrangements with local authorities, housing associations and private landlords to temporarily sub let properties.
In 2008 the proportion of void SFA reached 21 per cent. Although extremely challenging, the MOD is driving hard to reduce the percentage of voids to the target management margin of 10 per cent. by 2012.
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